Travel tips for safe and enjoyable holidays in India

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Tips to make your journey a memorable one

1. Travel Light:
Carrying hand-held suitcases can be too cumbersome and tiring. They can become a huge annoyance when travelling long distance because of their shape and weight. It's always advisable to replace these bulky sets with more travel friendly ones which have wheels on them. They come in very handy as you don't need to carry them, but just simply roll them. Backpacks are also quite handy if you can carry them on your back. They have lots of pouches and zips which can help in storing a lot of items.

2. Eat Healthy Food:
During travel, before eating at a restaurant or food joint in a new city, read the menu carefully and look around for the hygiene of the place where food is cooking. Try and avoid dishes which are marked buttery, fried, crispy, creamed in gravy, or other very oily food. Instead, look for items that are marked stir fried, steamed, preferably in its own juice, poached, raw and garden fresh food items.

On a road trip, rather than relying on roadside greasy spoons for nutrition, pack a variety of nutritious food-fruits, raw vegetables, sandwiches, yoghurt, etc. Carry bottles of water so you don't become dehydrated while driving. Don't drive too long without eating. When stopping at a rest area to eat, stay away from sugary snacks.

3. Tipping etiquettes at restaurants:
Although excellent service calls for 20 percent of the total bill, most restaurants accept 15 percent as the standard tip. At fancy restaurants, tip the maitre'd between Rs. 200-400 if he gets you a table. Tip Rs. 10-20 to rest room attendants. If the food or service is unsatisfactory, speak to the manager-don't walk out without tipping.

4. Tipping etiquettes at Indian hotels:
When you arrive at your hotel, tip the taxi driver ten to 15 per cent of the total fare. If you are driving your own car, give the valet attendant Rs. 50. The bellman, who assis you with your bags, deserves Rs 50-100. The cocierge-who gets you anything from dinner reservations to theatre tickets-deserves Rs. 250-500 for the same. If you request for special items to be delivered to your room, tip Rs. 50 per item. The maid deserves a Rs. 100 tip per day, as well.

5. Move Early and Plan Ahead:
Leave at least an extra hour earlier. As you prepare for your vacation, give yourself more time than usual in order to anticipate the other delay factors like traffic jams, etc. Remember to bring some reading material while you wait in the security line or at your departure stop.

Related Reads:

Kerala Vacation Guide

Travel through Indian states & territories:

North India

East India

North - East India

Central India

South India

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